Landlord Liability for Tenant Dog Bite

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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In a situation where you were injured by a tenant’s dog bite on a landlord’s property, there may be a few potential ways to collect your damages. You may be able to file a dog bite lawsuit against the owner of the dog or the landlord who let you into the apartment. If you were injured on the job, another option may be to file a workers comp claim if the injury arose as a direct result of your job duties. Your options depend on the laws where you live and on the particular situation in which you find yourself. 

How can I file a dog bite lawsuit against the owner or landlord?

Dog bite law varies from state to state. In some areas, strict liability is imposed. This means a person is always liable for any injuries his dog causes by biting, even if the dog has never bitten before and if there is no reason to assume that the dog was prone to biting.

In a strict liability case, it is normally fairly easy to collect your damages from the dog’s owner as long as you can prove the bite. However, things may become a bit complicated in this situation because the owner himself did not give you permission to enter. This means the landlord could be liable if he is found to have acted negligently. 

Can I file a workers comp claim?

Another option to collect your damages from a dog bite that occurs at work is to use the workers comp system. A workers comp claim is separate from a personal injury case and no negligence on the part of the employer is required. If you were injured as a direct result of your work duties, your employer could become responsible for paying for your medical bills, lost wages and certain additional damages under the law. If you opt to file a workers comp claim, you will be making this claim against your employer outside of the court system since employees may not sue their employers under the workers comp system.

Because there are several potential ways to recover losses in your situation, you should strongly consider speaking with a lawyer for advice. 

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